Fresh from his starring role as Jesus in the massively popular streaming series “The Chosen,” Jonathan Roumie steps into the shoes of hippie evangelist Lonnie Frisbee in the new Kingdom Story Company film “Jesus Revolution,” releasing this week. The film, also starring Joel Courtney, Anna Grace Barlow and Kelsey Grammer, tells the true story of the evangelist who joins forces with Chuck Smith to spark a movement of young Christians.
At the red carpet premiere, Roumie traced the current interest in Jesus to the current spiritual hunger of the world.
“I think people are starving for this kind of content,” he said. “They’re starving in the culture for the presence of God once more, because he’s been so inextricably removed over the last several decades. God’s like, ‘No, that’s not how the story goes. I’m gonna fire some people up.’ You read what’s going on in Kentucky, at the universities, and spreading and then this the timing of this film. Without a doubt, God’s doing something right now.”
After filming season two of “The Chosen,” Roumie was sent the script to “Jesus Revolution,” which he said was “phenomenal.” He began immersing himself in footage and the history of the Jesus Movement to prepare for his role as the charismatic evangelist.
“It’s a magnetic moment in spiritual history, in American history,” he said. “I was like, ‘How can I honor this the best I can?’”
In portraying Frisbee, Roumie knew he was tackling a “very complex human being” who was “brilliant, gifted, spiritually-powerful.” At the same time, “His humanity leaked out of him every step of the way.”
“Jesus Revolution” is about a movement of God’s love. Roumie says the film’s tagline, “When you open your heart, there’s room for everyone” is vital to the core message of the film, is about that love that knows no boundaries.
“It absolutely speaks to the infinite love mercy and compassion of God,” he said. “I think when people focus on God and not on the differences that they perceive between their version or their understanding of God, and another denominational or non-denominational or even faith understanding of God. When you when you get those out of the way, when you can just focus on God, you realize we’re all here trying to do the same thing.”
“Jesus Revolution,” directed by Jon Erwin and Brent McCorkle, releases to theaters this week from Kingdom Story Studios and Lionsgate Studios. Watch an exclusive interview with Roumie, Courtney, and Barlow below.